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needed, and when we went out with newtown officers to search or to execute search warrants or to examine other possible secondary scenes, we took all those assets with us to ensure that they were right there immediately so that we could react if it was necessary. that's about all i have as far as details are concerned. i want to give you one more briefing probably just before 6:00 we'll try to get back up here for one more briefing. i'll take a couple brief questions but i must tell you there are certain things we cannot discuss at this time. i will take you right here. >> do you have anyone -- [ inaudible ]. >> there was one person that was injured that suffered an injury and did survive, yes. >> can you confirm -- >> i'm chris matthews and this is "hardball." we're watching the continuing coverage now on msnbc of the connecticut state police press conference. >> -- shooter's identity. >> not going to confirm the identity of the shooter.
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wl we're not prepared to do that. we have a tentative identification. we will, we will identify the shooter at an appropriate time. just for our investigatory purposes it's not appropriate to do that right now. yes? [ inaudible question ] >> again, it's part and parcel of what we do. i told you initially that we will leave no stone unturned as we're looking at every facet of this investigation. whether it's the shooter, any of the victims, we're going to look at everything and we certainly will go in and out of state and we'll work with fellow law enforcement including federal agencies if we need to to answer every single question to exactly what transpired here and it will be a time-consuming process but we will get it done. [ inaudible question ] >> right now one shooter, yes, sir. [ inaudible question ] >> it was k through 4, kindergarten through fourth grade. that's the school. [ inaudible question ] >> they were all students of that school, sir.
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[ inaudible question ] i don't know the grade they were in. i'm sorry, i don't know that. [ inaudible question ] >> one section, two classrooms. [ inaudible question ] >> i couldn't tell you. i don't know. i didn't find that out. i'm sorry. your question? >> were there any students unaccounted for? >> no. everyone has been -- and that's part of the process and that's why it took us so long to get here and that's a very good question. are there any students that are unaccounted for? we had to assure we accounted for every student in the school. that includes somebody who was absent because of illness. that was part of the process we had to go through. now we have the identification process which is even more difficult and so it's going to be some time before we're able to give you that information and probably won't be available until some time tomorrow. [ inaudible question ] >> did we identify weapons. we have seize the weapon. >> what kind of weapon? >> we will not discuss it at this time. >> are you still trying to reach parents at this time? wroo.
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>> we have been in contact with all the parents. we would not come up here until we've been in contact with all the pearn and we've been communicating with them since they arrived here at the scene. they've been fully informed. that's why it took so long for us to come up here. [ inaudible question ] >> that's a good question. everyone believes that, you know, it's something that first responders do, that law enforcement does, but i can tell you we provided counseling for the first responders because this was a very tragic, horrific scene that they encountered. it's not something that we want to see. it's not something that we see every day. so that was one -- that's one thing that we have done and the colonel has made that perfectly clear that those people are to be spoken to and receive crisis counseling as required. >> you have to be the face telling us here what's happening, but newtown is a very quiet, beautiful place, and i'm
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sure this is something that is not an ordinary thing you deal with like big cities. >> the lieutenant can certainly tell you. he's a newtown officer. >> -- to see this tragedy. gibe how it has impacted you personally, not only as a law enforcement officer, as a person. >> as a person the first thing i thought about was my own children. >> talk right in here. >> could you say your name please. >> lieutenant george sinko. >> tell you tell us -- [ inaudible ]. is this the worst that you have seen? >> this is most definitely the worst thing we have had to experience here in town, tragic. but right now we're concerned about the families of the victims. our officers are professional and we will deal with this as well. >> can you describe the scene with the patients. is there a place where people are getting together and are there counselors with them?
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>> the local hospital has offered their crisis intervention counselors. they will be available at reed intermediate school and they're available right now if need be and they will be there all weekend. >> is there a place where parents are gathering? and what's that -- can you describe that? >> the parents certainly have gathered at the local firehouse, which is adjacent to the school, and we've done our best to comfort them and try to reassure them that we've done everything we can, but as mentioned, it's a difficult process to confirm the status of an entire elementary school, and we need to be right when we do that. >> lieutenant, what is -- [ inaudible ] where do you go next after today? >> it's healing. we just have to think about the families right now and do everything we can for them. >> lieutenant, was one of the teachers killed the shooter's mom? >> we can't confirm any of that right now. the investigation is ongoing.
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[ inaudible question ] >> there are still parents there, yes. i don't have a number for you. i don't have a number for you. okay. >> when did you realize -- what the magnitude -- how long did it take you to realize the magnitude? >> minutes after our officers were there they realized, you know, what a horrific scene we had there. [ inaudible question ] >> i don't have the exact time line on that. certainly officers responded immediately, and as soon as they realized what they had, we obviously asked for all the resources we could get. all right. thank you. anything, paul? >> i think we're good. >> thank you. >> let me just finish this. we'll come back about -- just before 6:00. i know a lot of you are on at 6:00.
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we'll get back with one more briefing and then schedule briefings probably tomorrow. some of you folks look very tired. we'll see if we can give you a schedule of briefings for tomorrow. okay. >> good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. tonight we have an hour to get on top of this horrific tragedy in connecticut, to get our heads around it, to understand why it happened, how things like this happen. we'll take, of course, much longer. but let's get to it. we have chris jansing on the scene in newtown, connecticut. nbc justice correspondent pete williams in washington. we have clint van zandt, former fbi profiler and nbc analyst with me in the studio. nbc white house correspondent kris welker is with us. we also have larry johnson, the president of the national association of school safety and law enforcement officials. first we go for an immediate update to my msnbc colleague chris jansing. chris, i know you have aride on
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the site in newtown, connecticut. what's the latest? >> reporter: well, there was just a briefing by officials here, and it is obviously the most devastating of news. as they describe it, this has been a scene of absolute horror. in fact, they have moved the press away from the school here to a community area, and the parents are still gathering at the nearby fire station. the problem is the scene itself, which will be an active crime scene, chris, for at least until sunday because the scene is described as so horrific that the identification process is very difficult. what we do know, of course, is what we've been reporting for most of the last couple of hours, which is that 26 people were shot inside that elementary school with students age 5 to 10. 20 of the victims being children. the shooter, 20-year-old adam lanza, his mother a kindergarten teacher at that school.
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i can tell you that i have been to any number of mass shootings. there is a heaviness here that is almost indescribable. it is so hard so the even figure out why anyone would go after children, such innocent young children, and this community is absolutely in shock. i was driving in and i saw beautiful houses in this normally bucolic connecticut town decorated with christmas lights and at one point i glanced over at a car next to me. there was a man driving who looked visibly upset and the woman in the passenger seat was crying. there are going to be many tears that are shed here as people try to figure out exactly why this happened. but for right now police are saying that they're being very careful because of the nature of this crime about how much they say, how much they identify. again, in addition to those 26 people, the gunmen killed himself and there is a victim at
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a second location. another person found dead at another location. so that is the latest from here. they have been giving us regular updates and, of course, we will have them for you as we get them, cl is. >> chris jansing, we'll be back to you throughout the hour. for more on the shooter in this newtown, connecticut, tragedy, we go to former fbi profiler clint van zandt. also with us, psychiatrist josh weiner. thank you both, gentlemen. let's start with the profile thing here. mass shooter using semiautomatic weapons apparently, the kind of weapons you can shoot, shoot, shoot. apparently shot himself. >> that's what chris just told us. and, again, we see these things repeat, repeat, repeat. chris, as you know, we have about 20 mass shootings in the united states every year. as horrific as this is, we also see somewhat of a copycat. remember we had virginia tech, cho, the shooter in april 2011. two semiautomatic pistols that he used. the shooting that took place in
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aurora, colorado, in a movie theater, individual dressed in all black clothing. the shooting that took place earlier this week in portland, oregon, shooter dressed in all block with a semiautomatic weapon. today we're told the shooter, one more time, dressed in black, maybe with a load bearing vest that would allow him to carry more magazines. part of what we have to get into is do these guys see themselves as some type of commando or something? what commando goes after kids? goes after little kids? and as -- >> does that lend some kind of moral authority to the horrific actions, the wearing of a uniform of some kind? >> it may go along with some type of fantasy we have. you said wrap your arms around it. i have been trying to do that all day. how can anyone in their right mind or wrong mind justify the killing of children -- >> let's go to profile questions. the person shows up with two semiautomatic pistols have that 15 rounds each.
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so they're ready to shoot a lot of people. so it's hard to believe one thing led to another. the initial intent was to do a lot of horror. >> and when we're told over 100 rounds have been fired, do the math. that means about four or five magazines per weapon that he had to carry. so he would just dump one, reload, and keep -- >> is that hard to do? can you see the weapon get hot? >> no, no. >> a glock can be reloaded. >> if you're practicing, you put 15, 16 rounds, you dump the magazine, you put a new one up, and you go again. it can take two seconds and you're ready to go again. >> to add to the horror in this discussion, it's always going to be there in our minds, but these kids were watching this guy do it to them. >> they watched him and then the question comes why did he shoot the children? realize this guy committed an act of mat tri side. he killed his own mother. i have been involved in situations as an fbi agent where that has happened. if you do that, you're canable of doing anything. >> there's no god in your life after that. there's no limit to what you'll do that's evil at that point. >> what did his mother do
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though, chris? she was a kindergarten teacher. she had children that loved her and she loved them. when this guy came in and i don't want to go freudian on us, but when he came in and when he shot his mother and turned on those children, those children were part of his mother and she was part of them. he killed what his mother loved. he killed what that school appreciated and he killed them. >> and what his mother was paying attention to. she obviously cared for those kids. i don't know, i'm not a psychiatrist. you're a psychiatrist. >> even as a psychiatrist, it's so hard to know why people do some of these horrific things, but i do think what clint said at the end there is what i agree with, which is that perhaps this guy was going after his mom, and he wanted to wipe out everything that she cared about. so he may have known over the years just how much she loved these kids, so as an extension of her, he could kill these kids and that would really be a way to get back at his mother. i also think that some people, they want to do these things because they want to be recognized on a grand stage, and
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by going in and just shooting your mother, even if it were in a school, that doesn't get the attention that this gets because we have so many school children, innocent victims, who have been killed, and i think that that makes him maybe feel like he's special. >> let's go back. i don't want to get beyond the facts, but here is a guy, 28 people dead right now, another scene, we don't know what that's about. his father is still alive. his mother is teaching kids kindergarten, k to 4 as we say. he goes in during the class day. he apparently shoots a bunch of the administrators of the school on his way in. it was during school time. he obviously thought about it last night, we tont work this morning. went to this horrible situation. my question about this whole thing is, is suicide part of this pact this person makes with himself? it seems like no other reason except that he planned to do it. >> we see suicide from the profiling standpoint. i see suicide so much because it's my belief the individual just doesn't want to be held responsible. there may be part of him that
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realizes i have done this horrific act, i deserve to die, but when i see people kill themselves in a situation like that, i believe they're trying to remove themselves and the jute ni of themselves and their actions from the public. they have taken that away from us. they don't allow us to look at that. they take that secret to the grave. >> and they don't want to be captive to us afterwards. we'll be right back. thank you, josh. we'll be back with clint van zandt as well. both going to be staying with us throughout the hour as we check back and forth from what we're trying to figure out in terms of profile and gathering every minute of the next hour all the news coverage about this horrific shooting at sandy hook elementary school. >> the teacher told us to all go where our library is and get behind something so nobody -- since there's a window in the door, nobody would see -- the guy wouldn't see us, and i heard that the guy was wanted to kill everybody.
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we've endured too many of these tragedies in the past few years, and each time i learn the news, i react not as a president but as anybody else would, as a parent, and that was especially true today. i know there's not a parent in america who doesn't feel the same overwhelming grief that i do. the majority of those who died today were children. beautiful little kids between the ages of 5 and 10 years old. they had their entire lives ahead of them, birthdays, graduations, weddings, kids of
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their own. among the fallen were also teachers, men and women who devoted their lives to helping our children fulfill their dreams. >> we're back to "hardball." you know, we have often said our president is a cool customer and he went there. there's a father talking there. you see the tear in the eye and we all shared that. lester holt, my colleague on nbc, was doing the same. all our producers have shown the same kind of emotional reaction. let's talk about the kids today. i want to get ahead of this story tonight. these kids have parents, their parents are worried. what should they do with their kids who have survived. >> the kids who have survived -- >> from this school? >> i think they need to talk to them about empg that the child brings up. you want to ask them every detail, every question, you do still want to be able to provide some reassurance. you do not want to be judgmental in any way. any emotion yaur child is
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experiencing is an acceptable emotion. you want to show them how much you love them. you want to talk to them about how this is such a rare event and that this is not going to happen again to them, that they need to be able to eventually go back to school. this is going to take a wile for them to feel better. that they can expect that for a little while, a week, several days, the kids are going to have some difficulties potentially. things like feeling really clingy to their parents, not wanting to sleep alone, having nightmares. these are all things that i think the parents need to tell their kids, and in particular i think the parents need to be on high alert for the potential for this to develop into a po post-traumatic stress disorder. in general it doesn't matter whether you're talking about a war or hurricane, in general about 15% of the population is vulnerable to developing po post-traumatic stress disorder. so if you're seeing your child continuing to suffer for longer than a week or two weeks and it's starting to really interfere with their functioning, you need to go and get some professional help. >> the oldest question in the
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world from the one time i was in grade school, should you call if you're a fellow parent, with consolation tonight? should you call the parent of someone who was killed tonight? >> absolutely. i think that's just the humane thing to do. >> don't put it off out of sensitivity. >> no, no, just call them and quite honestly. the parents aren't going to be picking up the phones. i think you leave a message on the voice mail letting them know how hurt you are and how this is such a tragedy for everybody and that you're there to help them if there's anything they could possibly need from them. >> these kids are going to have an amazing memory scorched into them, especially ones who were grabbed by their teachers and hauled off into a room to protect them from the gunshots. we had a young boy talking earlier today about watching ten gunshots whiz by him and his memory was clear enough to say they came right to left. it was like a police report we're getting from this little kid. should parents ask their kids about the details of the horror that they witnessed? >> i think that the parents need to take the lead from their children. so if their kids want to tell them this, i think it's fine.
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i think the parents can ask some questions, but allow the child to be the one who is directing the conversation for the most part and be available for that child over the course of several days. continue to ask them if there's anything they want to talk about. but i don't think it's necessarily the parents' responsibility nor is it in their child's best interest for the parent to dictate often their child talks about it. everybody processes these things somewhat differently, and you need to specifically pay attention to your own child and their own needs. >> you said to tell the young children and they were kirn here, k to 4, that it's not going to happen again. is that something you can say reliably to a kid? >> well, of course -- >> i know the odds are overwhelming but is it something you can honest wily say with th moral authority of a parent. >> that's the right thing to do in my opinion. kids don't understand probabilities. they don't understand the likelihood of this happen something one in a mall. you need to be very direct and
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make them feel secure. you as a parent obviously know there's always the possibility for risk and danger. >> as a professional united states law enforcement, what comes to your mind when you watch -- we've talked about these every time they happen whether it's aurora or columbine. what is the key problem? is it mental illness and the fact that as my nephew called up early tonight, 60 million people have this. some people have defects. we're all god made and some have defects, born with them, or is it gun control or is it both? what comes to your mind? >> what comes do my mind is for example i don't want to see congress come in with a quick fix. let's have an assault weapons ban, let's do away with extended magazines. 310 million americans, 280 million guns. people are going to get guns -- >> the glock is easy to get. >> a going alock and sig sauer, can get them anywhere. cops carry them, crooks carry them. it's going to be a combination. we have to deal with the mental health issue, the firearms
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issue, and people are going to need some help in getting conflict resolution skills and realize just because your life turns to crap doesn't mean you have to take it out on somebody else, and we need to help that thought process. >> i like the way you put it. i think it's complicated and the best we can do is reduce the numbers. thank you clint van zandt. you will be back and john weiner. we'll be back on the ground with our ground coverage of this tragic shooting up at sandy hook elementary school which will always be known for this, unfortunately, and in newtown, connecticut, a town of regular town that people go to for good skuls and the green grass and a nice way to raise your kids. we're struck by horror today. we'll be right back with more and "hardball." >> when they were leaving the school, the state troopers and, you know, the fbi or whoever were there, they were telling all the children to hold hands and qulos their eyes until they were outside, so i mean, obviously what was in there, it must have been very gruesome and my sister said she -- what she saw was just police everywhere. police with guns in every corner. [ male announcer ] how can power consumption in china,
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we're back. nbc's kristin welker is live at the white house with we just saw a very emotional president obama this afternoon. a bit more of his remarks right now. >> this evening michelle and i will do what i know every parent in america will do which is hug our children a little tighter and we'll tell them that we love them and we'll remind each other how deeply we love one another, but there are families in connecticut who cannot do that tonight, and they need all of us right now. in the hard days to come, that community needs us to be at our best as americans, and i will do everything in my power as president to help. >> kristin welker, thank you, my colleague from the white house. you know, i think what we call the operative sentence or words in this speech today, wonderfully emotional and so personal as a father, was meaningful action. what's the take on that, the takeaway from the president
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saying meaningful action to prevent this from happening again? >> reporter: well, chris, i think that it's a sign that the president was as defiant and angry in some senses as he was emotional this afternoon. he made the point that we have seen too many of these mass shootings in our communities, so president obama making that point. it's time to take meaningful action regardless of the politics. clearly a reference to stiffer gun legislation. we don't know specifically what he meant. we'll, of course, be asking the white house about that in the coming days and weeks. i can tell you that in past speeches president obama has talked about the need to have better background checks to keep weapons out of the hands of people who are mentally unstable and to also have better preventative measures to make sure that those who are meventally unstable are getting the care that they need. what's interesting, chris, is that earlier today white house press secretary jay carney during his daily briefing made the point that today is not the day to talk about policy. today is the day to focus on the
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victims. i can tell you that in the past hour, an impromptu vigil has all righted to form outside of the white house, and some of the people at that vigil, which includes a couple hundred people, have started to chant today is the day. so people already gathering outside of the white house and taking issue with carney's comments. this debate will clearly be reopened in the coming days as this nation continues to process what happened in connecticut. the president clearly very emotional today making it clear that connecticut's tragedy is the nation's tragedy. he reached out to governor dannel malloy not only to offer his condolences but also the full support and weight of the federal government as that community begins to cope with and heal in the wake of this unspeakable tragedy, chris. i should also tell you that the flag here at the white house and throughout federal buildings here in washington, d.c., are flying at half-staff. >> thank you, kristin. we'll be right back with
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as a country we have been through this too many times. whether it's an elementary school in newtown or a shopping mall in oregon or a temple in wisconsin or a movie theater in aurora or a street corner in chicago, these neighborhoods are our neighborhoods, and these children are our children.
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and we're going to have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this regardless of the politics. >> meaningful action. well, today's tragedy in connecticut brings the issue of guns to the forefront of america's minds tonight, and president obama pledged to take that meaningful action at his white house statement earlier this afternoon. with me are two people with personal experience with gun violence u.s. congress won karl lynn mccarthy of new york, lost her husband in a 1993 mass shooting on that commuter train and collin godard is a sur jiver of the virginia tech shootings. he worked for the brady campaign. we called the nra hoping to get someone from that organization on tonight they said they're not commenting until more information is thoroughly known in this case. they're putting off any kind of comment. it's obvious. congresswoman, thank you four coming on. i any this must bring it all back. i thought it was great, i said we have to get carolyn mccarthy because her reason to be in public life, to take on the voter, to deal with the public
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was this issue of the horror that hit your husband. >> and it was. and, you know, it's not funny, but i mean yesterday in my office we sat down to plan what we were going to do for the next term, and i said, listen, i came here in to congress to reduce gun violence, and i said i want to make sure that we go full forward. we have to do something about it. you know, the president's words meant a lot to me today because his tone was different. we have to take this head on and i know that the white house had said earlier that this was not a time to talk about gun violence, and you know what? they're right. it should have been years ago. so hopefully we wouldn't have had to go through this. there are things we can do to reduce gun violence. there are things we can do to hopefully cut down the amount of killings, but my heart goes out to the families and for those that lost their loved ones. i mean, here we have the holidays.
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this is when the christmas tree is up, the hanukkah lights are lit, children shouldn't have to worry about going to school and facing these kind of tragedies, but my heart breaks for the survivors and for the parents because i know what they're going to go through, and i know that i'll be lighting another candle tonight for all these families and praying for them. but the conversation has to go forward. >> well, you know, i remember when bobby kennedy was killed by a gai carrying a pistol in los angeles, and johnny carson said i have never asked the people to ever do anything like this but write your congressman so i dutifully wrote my congressman about gun control, but i have noticed over the years that the people who care about reasonable gun control, reasonable gun control, get concerned when an emotional horror like this occurs and in a couple weeks passed and the nra comes back to its fund-raising and then the only people interested in guns are those who want to protect their right to carry them and the people concerned with the gun horrors that we're talking about here today lose interest.
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how do you sustain a balanced look at gun control and gun ownership in this society? >> well, i think because we have to keep that message out there all the time and not wait for a tragedy like this that happened. excuse me. you know, when you think about it, a couple weeks ago we had a shooting with an nfl player. one of the commentators -- i mean, he couldn't believe the hate mail he got. he couldn't believe how people came down after him. well, that's why people are afraid to speak out. they're afraid of the nra. they're afraid of the large lobbyists and that's the same thing as the members of congress. whether they're republican or democrat. you see that, that they cower behind and not get anything done instead of standing up. they're afraid they're going to lose their next election. if we can save a whole bunch of lives, isn't that what we're supposed to be in congress for? it's not -- >> i understand that. >> it's not taking away the right of someone to own a gun.
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>> you can't be elected to the united states senate from pennsylvania unless you're for gun rights totally, 100%. i know that's true in ohio and michigan, states like that. we have another person here, collin, thank you for joining us. you were at virginia tech, you were a survivor down there and i'm glad you were. here you are. a lot of people in the gun ownership side, the second amendment people, the zealots, say if a bunch of people have guns they could shoot this guy down when he walked in the door. i can imagine what we will hear in the days ahead. if some of the school officials had been armed, they could have stopped him before he got to the kids. your thoughts. >> you will be hearing it but i don't quite understand it. we are the most armed country in the modern world, and we have the most problems with gun violence. you know, i mean, if more guns solved our problems, then we'd be the safest country already. that's not it. you know, the conversation that we're having now, the conversation that the vast majority of americans are having is the reasonable middle ground. is the background checks on all gun sales. that's something gun owners and
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nra members support. it's the leadership that has this extremist approach but the membership, the real american people understand a background check is not going to stop them from owning a gun. >> what happens, just to be argumentative, these were two glocks, semiautomatic weapons -- >> and a bushmaster. >> yes. could you stop a person from getting access to those kinds of weapons if they broke mentally? they weren't crazy to use a common term when they bought the guns or they got them from somebody else who got them legally who was of sound mind. how do you stop the easy transfer of weaponry in this country? >> break ground check. >> but the laws don't control an easy transfer. you can sell it to a friend, lend it to a friend, you can steal it from a friend. >> there's not one thing that's going to stop all shootings. that's just unreasonable but we're talking about -- and we can't always have the conversation about how can we prevent the last shooting that just happened. we need to be talking about the eight kids that die tomorrow, the 32 of us -- >> tell me about the bushmaster. what are the laws on getting one.
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>> that was a gun that wasn't sold in our stores in 2004. it's a high powered military weapon. that's something -- >> a rifle. >> used in war zones. >> it's pretty gnarlyp. >> semiautomatic. >> most guns are semiautomatic. it has no place in our society. it's not going to stop people from hunting or defending themselves but it will stop somebody from being able to walk into a classroom of kids and kill his mom -- >> you just have watched the president today when he spoke with such emotion. he's such a cool guy. we know that. yet today he had to stop himself for almost a minute before he could continue talking. i think he was overwhelmed by the message he had to deliver in front of all those cameras. we've been struck by one of our own. one of our own has killed 28 people that would have been alive tonight having dinner and enjoying friday night. it's a fact. being with their families, and he had to say that to the country, that this is a nationally important issue. how do you get across the fact that this isn't just the kind of
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thing that has to happen. it's the kind of thing that might not happen if you do the right thing as politicians, including the president. >> well, i would say to the president there are politicians out there. you have the brady center that's been working on this for years. go to mayor bloomberg and get the 700 mayors that are trying to make a difference to reduce gun violence, and i agree with my colleague that, you know, it's not one thing that's going to stop all these kind of shootings. we're talking about going over the financial cliff. we have colleagues talking about making drastic cuts to mental health. our states right now have closed their doors to young adolescents and to people that need counseling because they have anger. so, i mean, these programs all have to be put in together. that's who we as a society and we as politicians should be doing, but i have to say, i do agree with the president today.
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it doesn't matter whether you're a republican or a democrat, i know an awful lot of nra members that agree on the background checks. i agree that when we passed legislation after virginia tech. but we haven't had it fully funded where in the courts anybody who has been adjudicated to be mentally ill has a domestic violence or a felon, they should not be allowed to have guns, but they're sitting in a courtroom somewhere because we cannot computerize them because they don't have the money to do it. so it's a whole bunch of things we can do. but all groups should come together. >> i agree. >> and the nra should be working with us to try to reduce gun violence in this country. >> because it's interesting, the nra is very good at training people how to use weapons. they care about gun safety at a certain level. they have to understand without becoming a crusader on this, although maybe we all should, it isn't a slippery slope. if you say crazy people
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shouldn't have guns. thank you so much, carolyn mccarthy, thank you, u.s. congresswoman and collin godard thank you for coming tonight. we'll be right back. this is "hardball" with continuing coverage on the shooting at sandy hook elementary school up in connecticut. [ male announcer ] at scottrade,
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i'm happy. i'm happy. i'm happy. i'm happy. happy. happy. happy. happy. (together) happy. i love logistics. welcome back to "hardball" as we try to comprehend the tragic mass shooting at that connecticut elementary school today. the question remains can students at school ever feel 100% safe. joining me is larry johnson, president of the national association of school safety and law enforcement officials. well, that's a great question. here is a guy apparently today, we don't have all the details, walked into a school carrying an assault rifle, a couple glocks with a lot of magazines to rearm himself. how do you stop a guy? apparently nobody stopped him. he shot everybody that got in his way. >> well, this is a very difficult situation to assess without knowing all the details in terms of what occurred in that community, but, you know, our parents in our communities
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have to stay ever so vigilant and just continue to work with law enforcement, continue to work with the schools and put training and practices in place that we would hope would prevent this. we thought we were there. unfortunately, we're not, and we have a lot of work to do. >> what's the normal practice in a school of say not a high crime area but a regular school. this is a nice neighborhood, for example. it isn't a crime neighborhood. where you have -- do you have a metal detector. you wouldn't have a metal dedetector for an elementary school. what provision do you have for safety in a school like this? >> depending on the area of the country you're in, each community, each school district have different practices and procedures country you're in, e school has different proceed yaurs that they use. all of our schools have been practicing the locking of doors, there's been some very important components that school districts have been engaged in around the country that have been working in keeping kids safe. i want to reiterate that. kids are, i think, safe in school. unfortunately, we have tragedies
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like this ha happened today. >> how is it different from columbine when we had that first, big school tragedy where kids come in and killed a lot of people, students. this time, it was an adult, a young adult, shot a school administrator, shot a teacher, his mother and then went onto basically shoot a lot of young, kindergarten kids. go back to that question. what's between that killer, that potential shooter and the victims next monday morning in every school in america? what's between that killer and the students. >> well, the only thing that stands between the person who is prone to commit targeted violence inside a squochool is school administrator. hopefully, some of these schools have school resource officers in place. what we have to do is, hopefully, it's the hardware, the hardware that we have is something that can deflect some of the things that young people
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or individuals who's prone to commit violence inside a school would want to do. we live in tough times. and in tough times, we just have to be a little bit more vigilant in how we protect our young people in schools. >> should the administrators be armed? should they have access to a weapon if they need one in a situation like this? should they have access to one in some vault or closet or whatever. >> no, i'm going to say no. absolutely not. school administrators are there to teach. to guide our young people. and i don't think we need to begin to monday morning quarterback any sitwuation and say let's arm up all the school administrators across the country. >> thank you, mr. johnson. president of the national association of school safety and law enforcement officials. by the way, you're watching "hardball" with the continuing coverage of the tragic shooting up in newtown, connecticut.
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welcome back to "hardball's" coverage. chris janson is back with us live from newtown. chris, thank you. >> thank you, chris. we are waiting for an update at the top of the hour. we are told that the governor will be coming here with the latest information. he has been inside a local fire house which is not far from where i'm standing, talking to
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some of the parents who have been dealt the biggest blow of their lives to be told that their children will not be coming out of their elementary school alive. the governor is saying earlier today that you can never be prepared for something like this. and, surely, that says it all. everyone trying to figure out why this young man whose mother was a teacher at this school would have gone in and opened fire and killed 20 young students, ages 5 to 10. we also know that there was security at that school. and, in fact, i'm told that it was instituted by the principal who is another of the adult victims here. the question is how this young man gained access. it is being speculated that it's just possible because he was the son of a teacher, it would not have been difficult for him. as the community is in shock, they are coming together tonight. there are at least three local churches that are planning
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memorial services for 7:00 tonight. in the meantime, chris, we are waiting for governor malloy and police officials that have the grim task that they say may take days of identifying the victims in the schools. chris? >> 26 really young kids, kindergarten through fourth grade are dead now. the teacher, the mother of shooter is dead. and i guess the question which is going to linger for days and years is would this guy have stopped if he hadn't chosen to shoot himself? what kept him from just keep on doing it? this could have gone on all through that school, apparently. there was no one there to stop him. >> wed do know police have reported that this was in one area of the school that took place in two different rooms. one of them was this kindergarten classroom. we also learned in the last hour or so, it was mutually reported
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that his mother had been killed at the school. now, police are saying she was actually killed here at the shooter's home. and one more thing i think is worth mentioning. i have rarely in all the stories that i've covered over the last decade, seen the gathering of media that i'm seeing here how. satellite trucks are coming in next to me. there is a reporter from russia, next to him is a reporter from japan. this is a story that is being covered from around the world. >> unfortunately, chris, you and i know this is an american story, this ability to get access to semi-automatic weapons. people with sometimes mental deficiencies all coming together. i guess you'll throw to the press conference. it looks like we're starting. i'll do it right now. we're looking at a group of people which includes governor malloy of connecticut. we're going to get t
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